Blackpaint 93

“Solar” by Ian McEwan

I’ve been taking a couple of days off art (reading, that is – not painting) and reading the above.  I had thought of McEwan as being in a league of his own – beautifully clear, original ideas, perfect metaphors – and this book has all of that;  but this time, I thought you could easily detect other British writers and works that have similarities.

The first that occurred to me was Malcolm Bradbury’s “History Man”.  I think it’s a combination of Beard’s self-absorption and womanising and the slightly unhinged cheeriness of Patrice when she takes her revenge (i.e. Tarpin).  Bradbury’s Howard Kirk and his wife Barbara come to mind.  Not only that, though; Bradbury’s ironic tone is there too, if a little lighter.  And there was his jetting academic, Maurice Zapp in another book, can’t remember the title, who bears a slight resemblance to Beard.

Then, there is Tom Sharpe, “Wilt” for example; Aldous’ unlikely death and the build-up of pressures towards the end seem similar.

A William Boyd novel, “Stars and Bars” had an American character reminiscent of Darlene, I think, and a preoccupation with food; vegetarian v. meat, as I recall.

Finally, and maybe I’m pushing it a bit, but I’ve recently re-read Keith Waterhouse’s brilliant “Jubb” and Tarpin the builder (and his house in Cricklewood) is exactly the sort of character that Waterhouse used to create.

None of this detracts from “Solar”, which I read in two days; several weeks is more my usual speed.

Anyway, back to painting; below, my Black Painting as promised – or threatened.  And actually black, white, orange blue and green, if you look closely and ignore the reflection of the flash…

Blackpaint 22.03.10

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